Which famous baseball player did Marilyn Monroe marry on this day in 1954?
Answer: On January 14, 1954, actress Marilyn Monroe married New York Yankees ballplayer Joe DiMaggio at San Francisco City Hall. The pair’s marriage was short-lived and they divorced nine months later. After she and playwright Arthur Miller divorced, DiMaggio reportedly asked Monroe to marry him again. The pair never remarried, but they remained good friends until Monroe’s death in 1962. For the next two decades, until his own death in 1999, he sent roses several times a week to her grave in Los Angeles. When he died in 1999, his last words were “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”
Joseph Paul “Joe” DiMaggio (November 25, 1914 – March 8, 1999), nicknamed “Joltin’ Joe” and “The Yankee Clipper”, was an American Major League Baseball center fielder who played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak (May 15 – July 16, 1941), a record that still stands.
According to her autobiography, Marilyn Monroe originally did not want to meet DiMaggio, fearing that he was a stereotypical arrogant athlete. They eloped at San Francisco City Hall on January 14, 1954.
DiMaggio re-entered Monroe’s life as her marriage to Arthur Miller was ending. On February 10, 1961, he secured her release from Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic. She joined him in Florida where he was a batting coach for the Yankees.
According to Maury Allen’s biography, DiMaggio was alarmed at how Monroe had fallen in with people he felt were detrimental to her well-being. Val Monette, owner of a military post-exchange supply company, told Allen that DiMaggio left his employ on August 1, 1962, because he had decided to ask Monroe to remarry him.
She was found dead in her Brentwood, Los Angeles, home on August 5 after housekeeper Eunice Murray telephoned Monroe’s psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. DiMaggio’s son had spoken to Monroe on the phone the night of her death and claimed that she seemed fine. Her death was deemed a probable suicide by “Coroner to the Stars” Thomas Noguchi, but has been the subject of numerous conspiracy theories.
DiMaggio, a heavy smoker for much of his adult life, was admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, on October 12, 1998, for lung cancer surgery and remained there for 99 days. He returned to his Hollywood, Florida home on January 19, 1999, where he died on March 8. Joe DiMaggio’s final words were: “I finally get to see Marilyn”, referring to his former wife Marilyn Monroe.